How Do I Select A Lawyer?


Chances are that you will need legal advice right from the inception of your business. There are many ways a lawyer can help in addition to getting your company set up and properly authorized to conduct business.

Selecting a lawyer to work with your business should be done carefully. A lawyer will be one of your key advisors -- you will want to ensure that you are comfortable with him or her and find it easy to exchange ideas. It does no good if you are intimidated or uncomfortable asking questions, or discussing a problem. Sometimes it might be necessary to change attorneys as your business needs change, but this can be an expensive process, so take some time with the selection process.

Here's a practical approach to selecting a lawyer:

  1. Ask for referrals from people whose opinions you respect and who have worked with attorneys representing small businesses.
  2. Set up interviews with 2 or 3 attorneys. There might be a fee involved, but many attorneys will waive the fee for a half-hour interview.
  3. Keep the interview focused on its purpose, that is, to determine if you are comfortable and have rapport with the attorney. Don't ask for legal advice during this process.
  4. Ask the attorney for 2 or 3 references for other small business clients and contact them.
  5. After you have interviewed 2 or 3 attorneys, you will be prepared to select the right one to help with your business.

The following questions will help you get started with the interview process:

(from The Busy Woman's Guide to successful Self-Employment
by Women Incorporated, 7/97)

Copyright Information
Title: How Do I Select a Lawyer?
Author: N/A
Originating URL: &
Document URL:
  Small Business Administration (SBA) does not object to anyone linking to us as long as the descriptive words of our site are accurate and not misleading and do not misrepresent an unofficial relationship between the linking site and SBA. SBA prefers that you link to our information, rather than "capturing" it because their information changes hourly and a small business person may be misled with outdated information. No permission is needed from us either verbally or in writing to link to us provided the above is followed. ( This website has chosen the "capturing" method due to the frequent re-arrangement of URL path names by The information herein is for education purposes only and should not be interpreted as "up to date."

Certain materials herein are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright law and have been prepared according to the educational multimedia fair use guidelines and are restricted from further use. This work may be protected by further copyright, reproduction and distribution (in violation of United States Copyright Law).

Redistributed with permission.